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Oconto County, Wisconsin

The second church building of brick is being erected in 1903.
 It replaced the log church built in 1887.
The log church building was moved to a different location on the 40 acre site and used as the school until 1913.

Services and school were conducted entirely in German

St. John's German parochial school built 1913
Photo 1914 - new brick schoolhouse

Written by Laura Bartz with excerpts from 50 Year History by John Radloff.

During the 19th century, religion in German did not retain the purity we like to think existed after the Reformation. There was an age of "Rationalism", founded on the idea that man's reason was the safest guide in everything. This led again to the idea that man is saved by good works, because that is the reasonable thing to believe.

Some of the people looking for a better place in which to safeguard and promote their faith in Jesus as the only way to Heaven were the founders of our Missouri Synod who emigrated to Missouri in 1836. Another family was the Dicke family. Still more were some pioneers who settled in the Town of How, Oconto County.

Peter H. Dicke became interested in being a missionary to American after reading appeals from the Missouri Synod Lutherans. He studied theology in Nurnberg, then came to America and continued studying in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pastor Dicke served 5 years in Michigan, then in Mayville, Wisconsin, later in Belle Plaine and Pella in Shawano County, and in 1874, he moved to Town Washington, near Cecil.

Late in 1875, William and Johanna Bartz homesteaded a tract of land in Oconto County. In the spring of 1876, Johanna, carrying their infant son, Franc, and with Marie, their four year old daughter, trudging at her heels, walked some 25 miles along wilderness trails leading through the Indian Reservation to have the child baptized by Rev. Dicke. When Pastor Dicke heard that there were a few other Lutheran families near there, he said, "Now it is time that these people also have the word of God preached to them."

Not regularly, but faithfully, and as often as possible, Pastor Dicke traveled by horseback to the Town of How. He held services in the home of Herman Yakel, the oldest settler in the Town of How.

When Edward Suring settled on the present Ruben Rakow farm, Pastor Dicke held a second service in their home. Besides the Herman Yakels and Edward Surings, the attendants at these services were: Robert Yakel, William Bartz and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Moewe, Carl Schroeder, and Mrs. Henry Johnson.

It was several years before our people were able to raise collections to pay even a part of the expense of Pastor Dicke's trips here.

His attitude was: "What else could I expect? Had I not come to America for that very purpose, to be a missionary?"

So, ten years passed, but during those ten years other "missionaries" came, never asking for contributions, praising good works, perverting the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. When our forefathers began to realize that, unless the pure Gospel was preached as zealously as these false teachers were working, it would be lost entirely, they decided to organize a congregation, to buy land, and to build a church.

And so, according to a deed from the Oconto Company, dated August 2, 1886, 40 acres, more or less according to government survey, was purchased approximately near the center of the Town of How. The price of the land a mere (to us) $100.00, but in those days, when a family's cash income for a year might not exceed $50.00, it seemed astronomical.

Accurate records could not be found, but a list of twenty men, who each contributed $5.00 seems to have included:

William Buhrandt - Frederick Hischke Herman Yakel - August Ruch William Bartz - John Pethke Edward Suring - John Venzke August Schuettpelz - Frederick Drewe William Schuettpelz - Christian Hein Ferdinand Schuettpelz - Herman Elfe Martin Schuettpelz - Gustave Hischke Christian Zaddack - Carl Kruschke William Schoessow - August Buhrandt

Of these, William Buhrandt, August Ruch, and William Bartz were chosen as "elders".

During the winter of 1886, trees were felled on the newly acquired church property and during the summer of 1887 a church was built and furnished by volunteer labor. Except for the small, cheap windows, no money was required. In November it was formally dedicated to the glory of God during a service in charge of Pastor Dicke, wherein Pastor Ebert of Shawano preached the sermon.

Pastor Dicke still served our congregation while living in Town Washington; making the long journeys in buggy or cutter, as the seasons passed. In 1892, Rev. John Huchthausen was called to our sister congregation of Immanuel, Gillett, and also agreed to serve the congregation, as well as other newly-organized congregations in Oconto County, as pastor Dicke was advancing in age and had other steadily increasing responsibilities.

After the first wave of immigration, at the end of which our congregation was formed, had passed, settlers filtered in more slowly, but rather steadily, notwithstanding. Whatever records were kept have long since been lost, unfortunately for us, as they must have been records of heroic effort. At least, no written records survive from earlier than the beginning of the 1890's. The first confirmation class entered in the church records now existing is the Class of 1895. But, beyond a doubt, the first regular confirmation ceremony to be performed here took place seven years earlier, when the following were confirmed by Pastor Dicke: William Zaddack, Alvin Hischke, William Bartz, August A. Schuettpelz, Anna Hein, and the two Bertha Schuettpelzes.

In 1894, Pastor Huchthausen received a call to Upper Michigan. He was succeeded as pastor in Gillett by Rev. F. Uplegger, who also served St. John congregation. When Pastor Uplegger left Gillett for Denmark in 1899, plans were begun to build a parsonage and call a resident pastor. Rev. Heike, also a pastor of Immanuel, served as vacancy pastor. When it was learned that Rev. Uplegger would like to return to the United States, St. John congregation extended a call and he accepted.

During the next four years, our congregation prospered. A parsonage was constructed according to a plan drawn by Rev. Uplegger, and many other houses in the community were patterned after it. Credit for beginning a systematic record of meetings and statistics of the congregation must also go to Pastor Uplegger. During his years here, discussion took place concerning the construction of a new church building. In 1903, when Pastor Uplegger left us for the second time to accept a call to Hamburg, Germany, plans were fairly definite to build a new brick church, and to arrange for the regular instruction of the young people in religion and the German language. Such instruction had been given in the pastor's home, some young people boarding with the pastor's family or a near-by relative during a few months of the winter. Mrs. Uplegger assisted her husband in teaching the young people. Messers. Martin Plass, David Larsen, and Jacob Pfeiffer also taught during this time.

In 1903, we extended a call to Rev. A. C. Plass to be our second full time pastor for an annual salary of $450.00 plus free rent and firewood and an opportunity to do some farming on the side.

The plan for a new church, submitted by architect Gruenhagen of Oshkosh, was approved in the spring of 1904, and he was given a contract to supply the necessary carpentry, besides supervising the general construction. William Buhrandt undertook to supply all the required masonry, bricklaying and building of the foundation. What a blessing, for the third time, our 40 acre tract of woodland proved to be! Stones for the foundation and lumber for the old church, the parsonage, and now the new church, besides quantities of firewood over the years and a large grove for the outside services and picnics are all products of our forefathers' foresight.

On November 13th, 1904, the dedication took place. Pastors L. Schuetz and D. Markworth each preached a German sermon, an English sermon was preached by Pastor L. Schmidtke of Chippewa Falls, the first English sermon preached in our midst. (It seems Pastor Uplegger had preached an occasional Danish sermon in Maple Valley and this English sermon was a gesture of friendship to those we had invited to be our guests.)

The old log building had been moved to the south-east corner of the land to make way for the new church and it was now used as a schoolhouse until the spring of 1913, although some classes were still held in the pastor's home. When Pastor Plass was called in 1903, it was specified that the new pastor must be willing to instruct three days a week from October until Palm Sunday, on which Sunday confirmation services usually took place. For three terms, Pastor Plass appears to have taken complete charge of the school. In 1906, it was resolved to hire a lady teacher to teach for a term of three months. The amount the Pastor collected and paid to the teacher as salary was $133.00. After several years, the term was expanded to five months; then six months became the rule until 1926. Misses Lydia Markworth, Marie Schliebe, Mathilda Destinon, Magdalene Gilhoff and Anna List taught from 1906-1913.

A new brick schoolhouse was built in 1913 at a cost almost as great as that of the church erected in 1904, although it was much smaller in size and much simpler in construction. Mr. Paul Jank, a divinity student, was the first instructor in the new school. Misses Ella Raasch and Ella Pagenkopf each taught two terms. Mr. Harold Plass and Miss Gertrude Simon each taught one year, followed by Miss Martha Struck, who held the position from 1921-1925, then married Fred Hischke and became a permanent member of our congregation. Miss Esther Pahlow taught during the term 1925-1926.

St. John's German parochial school, conducted in much the same manner as a "Volksschule" in Germany during the latter half of the nineteenth century furnished instruction in Bible stories, Catechism, and German reading, writing and speaking. The school was wholly supported by the congregation, independent of state regulations.

It was uncommon for boys and girls at that time to continue formal education beyond the eighth grade. After completing the eighth grade in a public school, or frequently a year or two before completing it, our young folks attended the parochial school, and thus gained their last impression of formal education in religious surroundings. As the German language was almost exclusively used in our church, these two years of education, coming at a most critical period of a child's life, were of great benefit to them.

However, during and after World War I, the German language was used less and less. Most parents at this time had been born in America and received most of their education in English, attending parochial school probably two or three years at the most. Although the German instruction probably made a deep impression on them, they could not expect their children to receive the same benefit from it. Children reaching school age during the War, and ever since, rarely learned enough German to understand much of what they heard in church.

The increasing desire for English church services eventually led Pastor Plass to preach occasional sermons in English during his last years here and to instruct children, when necessary, in English.

In 1921, under the guidance of Pastor Plass, a Ladies' Aid Society was organized, with 23 ladies as charter members, to do missionary and welfare work within the congregation and the Missouri Synod. One of the Society's purposes was to aid needy students preparing for the ministry. It also helps congregation members at times of weddings and funerals by preparing meals. The "Ladies Aid Potato Pancake Supper", held the last Sunday of October, has become an annual event looked forward to by all. Some accomplishments through the years have been: refinishing the floor of the church, buying tables, chairs, dishes and a large stove for the church basement, extensive remodeling of the kitchen, and donating generously to other congregation projects. The ladies make many quilts every year for Lutheran World Relief, buy Bibles for the third grade pupils in our school, and donate monthly to the American Bible Society and to Marshall and Vanice Schultz, Bible translators in Africa. There are 26 members at the present time.

Our congregation joined Synod in January, 1926. At that time it was The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, now it is our Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod or LCMS.

Pastor Plass labored among us for 23 years. He resigned in 1926 due to failing health. Before he left, a call was sent to Rev. O. W. Schreiber, then pastor in Mellen, Wisconsin. Pastor Schreiber accepted the call and was installed July 11, 1926.

From the wording of his call, Pastor Schreiber had expected a parochial school where both religious and secular subjects were taught and which complied with state requirements in the secular area. He had accepted the call mainly, he said, because we possessed such a school. And what did he find upon his arrival? A german school! "Well", suggested one of the board members, "why not make it a Christian Day School?" So on that very occasion, despite numerous expenditures required almost at once, our German school changed into the type of school it is today.

Miss Emma Donath, later Mrs. Hubert Scheer, was hired to teach for nine months (1926-1927), not only religion, but all standard public school subjects as well, to all grades from first to eighth. The pastor instructed the confirmation classes for two years before conformation and taught German to those pupils who wanted to learn that language. This was integrated into the regular days' classes.

Miss Clara Hasz taught the next year (1927-1928) followed by Miss Dorothy Bergmann, who remained four years, (1928-1932). A male graduate of River Forest, Mr. E. E. Schmidtke, taught for three years, followed by Mr. L. Piotter and Mr. H. Mroch each teaching one year.

Thus, our children have been receiving both religious and secular instruction in a Christian atmosphere throughout their primary education and are ready to continue in a secondary school as soon as they receive their eighth grade diploma. There is, besides a saving of two whole years, a skillful combining of education with religion that impresses on the children the necessity of God's word daily as a part of their training for life. This is of special importance when religion plays as small role in the everyday family life. Our eighth grade graduates going on to Suring High School have earned a good reputation for our school. They are by no means deficient in their secular education.

During the summer of 1926, Pastor Schreiber led the young people, those between confirmation and marriage, into organizing St. John's Young People's Society. Miss Emma Donath, the teacher of our day school, was the Society's first president. The aims of the Society were Bible Study, making improvements within the church, and supplying wholesome forms of recreation for the young people in our congregation. A noteworthy undertaking was the redecoration of the church interior in 1934. At one time, the society was a member of the Walther League, the young peoples' organization of the LC-MS and provided a president of the North Wisconsin District of the Walther League, James Schuettpelz.

Other improvements from 1926-1936 were the electrification of our church, school and parsonage, excavation and building of a basement beneath the church for meetings, dinners and fellowship, improvement of the heating systems in church, school and pastor's residence, complete renovation and beautiful redecoration of the interior of the church by the Y.P.S., and the fixing of a gold cross in place of a wrought iron spire on the steeple.

The English language rose to occupy an equal status with the German. In 1933, a Sunday School was begun with an enrollment of 70 children. An adult Bible Class was also begun ant taught by the Pastor.

On June 7, 1936, our congregation celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Rev. Uplegger returned from his duties among the Apache Indians in Arizona to preach a German sermon in the morning service. Rev. Frank Hischke, up until 1936, the only pastor our congregation had produced, and at that time a pastor for deaf-mutes in St. Louis, conducted an afternoon service in English. Another English service was held in the evening with Rev. H. Paul Westmeyer, pastor of our sister congregation in Suring, preaching the sermon.

In February, 1937, a motion was passed in the congregational meeting "that Rev. Schreiber be permitted to take a more active part in the R.E.A. temporarily, if a helper can be provided to take his place in the congregation, when necessary." Although the buildings on the church property were serviced by the Wisconsin Public Service, establishing a Rural Electrification Co-operative in Oconto County benefitted many of our rural members and, eventually, the congregation buildings were also joined to the Co-op, giving us cheaper current.

In 1937, Mr. Clarence Radl of New Ulm, Minnesota, answered our call to become teacher of our Christian Day School. During his tenure here, her married a daughter of our congregation, Elsie Schuettpelz who had been a public school teacher. She loved teaching and took charge of the lower grades for her husband without any extra expense to the congregation. Our enrollment almost doubled in a few years.

Because we now had a married teacher, a home had to be provided. When Mr. &. Mrs. Radl moved to Menominee, Wisconsin, in 1945, we extended a call to Mr. F. C. Groth of New Orleans. Mr. Groth had been a missionary in Brazil early in his career. He was an excellent organist.

The old reed organ, having outlived its usefulness in leading a large congregation in song, was replaced by a new two-manual pipe organ, built in our church by Lee Stoll of Oshkosh in 1946. Mr. Bunjes, of Wausau, served as our consultant.

Mrs. Groth also assisted her husband and was paid a small salary. When she retired because of ill health in 1952, Irene Rakow was engaged to take over the lower grades, but fell victim to a polio attack just before school started. Miss Norma Natzke of Wayside was persuaded to fill in until January when Miss Rakow and Miss Ruth Hischke took over. After that Irene taught for two years.

During World War II, 28 men and two ladies from our congregation served in the Armed Forces. Two men lost their lives, Wesley Schumann (Schuettpelz) and Harold Stuewer.

In the early forties, an international women's organization was begun in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, having Missionary Inspiration, Missionary Education, and Missionary Service as its goals. Originally, our Ladies' Aid Society joined as a whole, devoting one meeting every four months to the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. But some members of the Ladies' Aid did not care to participate in the LWML projects and some ladies of the congregation wanted to be members of the LWML without belonging to the Ladies' Aid, so the societies separated. There were 12 charter members and now are 22. We have sent numerous packages to Germany, and did some sewing for needy children after World War II. We usually send money as a Christmas gift to a missionary's wife. We have our "mite boxes", the contents of which are collected every three months and sent to aid in District and International Projects. We have a fall and spring Zone Rally, besides a District and International convention in alternating years, and a Retreat every year at Camp Luther.

In 1952, the school received extensive remodeling, providing a better room for the primary grades. Indoor toilets were installed, probably the first such improvement to any rural school in Oconto County. A school dedication service was held on the second Sunday in September, 1952.

Also in 1952, we sponsored some German families displaced during World War II. A house near the church was refurbished for them. The first family stayed only a short time as they had relatives in Illinois and soon moved there. The second family prospered, bought a farm, and some members of it are still members of our congregation.

In 1937, divine services were conducted both in German and in English. Over the years, less German was being spoken and fewer people could understand it. In 1953, one German service was held in the morning of the first Sunday each month with an English service in the evening. In December, 1955, there was a special motion passed to have a German service on Second Christmas Day. There was usually a German service on New Year's Day and Easter Monday at that time also.

Mr. Groth having accepted a call in November 1954 to Manawa, Wisconsin, we called Mr. Robert Nehrig from Nebraska. He taught from January, 1955, to the summer of 1957 when he moved to Michigan. Miss Helen Wenger was our primary teacher for almost two years, 1955-1957, Mrs. Harold Bartz finishing the spring term in 1957. Miss Wenger became Mrs. Roland Hischke in 1956. A graduate of River Forest Teachers College in Illinois, Mr. Even Schiller, taught for one year and in 1958, Miss Regine Haendschke began a two year term. Miss Wenger and Miss Haendschke were both native Wisconsinites, Miss Wenger coming from Wisconsin Rapids and Miss Haendschke from Hortonville. In 1957-58, a congregation member who had been a public school teacher, Mrs. Karl Marcheske, taught the upper grades, although Mr. Schiller was principal. In 1958, Mr. Larry Scheuerlein became principal and teacher of the upper grades. Her was succeeded in 1960 by Mr. Harold Krueger and Miss Haendschke was followed by Miss Beverly Zahrt of Wausau. Miss Zahrt taught for two years, 1960-62. Miss Pauline Becker of Ontario, Canada then taught two years 1962-64, as did Miss Hilda McClone from White Clay Lake 1964-1966, all teaching the primary grades while Mr. Krueger taught the upper grades.

In January, 1954, a redecoration of the church was discussed but only the ceiling was replaced. Before a new pastor arrived in 1956, the parsonage was completely renovated.

Pastor Schreiber, after serving faithfully for 30 years, tendered his resignation in April, 1956. He remained in Hayes and a member of our congregation until his death, May 8, 1968. His beloved wife, who presided over the parsonage for 30 years, preceded him in death March 6, 1963.

While Rev. Westphal, of Gillett, served as vacancy pastor, calls for a pastor were extended and returned until, after receiving the call twice, Rev. Wendling from Auburndale accepted and was installed Sept. 15, 1957.

On October 20, 1957, it was voted to have men and women receive communion at the same time. The old German custom of men and women each occupying the benches on separate sides of the church sanctuary had gradually been discarded and now whole families could partake of the Lord's Supper together.

It was decided to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our congregation on Sept. 17, 1961. Pastor Schreiber and Pastor Waldemar Hischke preached, the ladies served dinner and all confirmands from 1950 on were specially invited. At this time, our congregation numbered approximately 515 baptized members, 340 communicants, and 105 voting members.

A Parent-Teacher League was formed as an auxiliary of our school in 1961 under the direction of Mr. Krueger. Topics pertaining to our school curricula are presented and discussed at the meetings. The League fosters closer home-school-church relations as well as providing for needs of the school not met by the congregation budget. It has purchased science equipment, an FM radio and record player, a TV, a vacuum cleaner, and recently, a computer to bring our children into the modern age of computers. The mothers in the P.T.L. furnish a hot lunch for the school children every Wednesday noon through arrangements made at P.T.L. meetings.

In May, 1962, a cemetery association was formed to take care of the church cemetery. It was hoped the interest from money donated to the cemetery fund will eventually provide for the upkeep of the cemetery.

In 1963, a lighted cross was added to the steeple to proclaim to the community the foundation of our faith.

Rev. Wendling received a call to Emmaus Lutheran Church at Waupaca in November, 1962. Regretfully, we released him, but asked him to stay until after confirmation. On March 1, 1963 a call was sent to Rev. William Chellew. He accepted and was installed on May 5, 1963.

The matter of renovating our church building was again discussed. A committee consisting of Rev. Chellew, Theodore Adams, Conrad Bartz, James Brauer, Elmer Gardebrecht, Martin Hischke, Alfred Schuettpelz and Robert Schuettpelz was elected. The architect engaged was John Wolf of Shawano, the general contractors were Felts Construction Company and the plumbing, heating and electrical work was done by Pulcifer Hardware. Altogether the project cost approximately $65,000.00.

The sanctuary was completely repainted, new lighting fixtures installed, the stained glass windows in the chancel and the old altar were removed and a modern altar backed by a large wooden cross installed, the front of the church and the basement were enlarged for the addition of rest rooms below and a large narthex on the main floor, thus eliminating the outside steps. The Walther League bought new carpeting for the chancel and the aisles. New flooring was also put in the basement. Some current papers were added to the box in the cornerstone of the church.

A rededication of the church was observed on May 9, 1965, with two services and a noon meal. Pastor Goetz, president of the North Wisconsin District, preached in the morning service and Rev. Wendling in the afternoon. All former confirmands were invited and a Dedication-Anniversary booklet (1964 was the 60th anniversary of the church building) was printed.

During 1966, midsummer Mission Festivals were replaced by two special mission emphasis services, in spring and in fall, one to be followed by a pot-luck dinner in the church basement. The services and dinner in the grove north of the school had already been replaced by services in church. Also this year we began Student Aid door offerings as we voted to participate in the Lutheran Laymen's League efforts to help students become pastors and teachers by attending Synod's colleges and seminaries.

That autumn, 1966, Miss Carolyn Schuette became our primary teacher. Mr. Krueger asked for his release in November, 1966, and was succeeded in the New Year by Mr. Ron Wunder of Milwaukee.

A $665.00 sound system for our church was purchased in October, 1967, from A.B. Communications Service, Inc. of Green Bay.

Over the years we have, at various times, helped proclaim the Gospel over the radio stations WOCO, Oconto, and WTCH, Shawano.

Mr. Wunder stayed only a year and a half. In 1968, Mr. Terry Otto answered our call for a principal and upper grade teacher and Miss Kathleen Okerland became primary teacher. Miss Okerland taught from 1968- 1971 and then married Wilmer Schuettpelz. Miss Anita Ford followed her and taught primary grades for one year. Mr. Otto resigned in 1972 and Mr. David Schlicker took his place. Miss Ford's successor was Miss Charlotte Mensing who taught from September, 1972 until April, 1975, when, having married Frank Hoerth, they moved to Minnesota. Mrs. Esther Schlicker finished the term.

The teacherage was extensively remodeled and enlarged during 1973. The committee overseeing this project consisted of Theodore Adams, James Brauer, and Richard Nelson. A recreation court was marked off and paved, between the school and the teacherage.

A tract of one and one half acre of land was purchased south of the church and Zipple Construction Co. donated $575.00 worth of work to make a fine new ball diamond and a larger parking lot for church goers. Later, in 1983, this was black-topped to increase its durability at a cost of $9200.00

In the spring of 1973, Rev. Chellew accepted a call to West Branch, Michigan, and we again, with the Lord's guidance, found a faithful shepherd in Rev. Floyd Gogolin from Wisconsin Rapids. The members of the Gogolin family have endeared themselves to the members of the congregation.

A set of 23 chimes was added to the organ at a cost of $1990.00 in 1976. There is still an "Organ Fund" growing through memorials and donations to eventually add more pipes to the organ. A small electric organ was purchased for the church basement by the Ladies' Aid that same year.

The congregation started planning to relocate a Vietnamese or Laotian family in 1975. In 1979, a family was sent to us from Laos, but later moved to Sheboygan where they had relatives. In October, 1980, the $173.00 remaining in our Refugee Fund was forwarded to the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Other things accomplished between 1979 and the present were: insulating the parsonage, replacing the flat roof on the school addition with a pitched roof, and drilling new wells at the school and at the parsonage.

In May, 1980, the congregation decided to add a third teacher to the parochial school staff. Miss Nancy Schuette, primary teacher since September, 1975, retained the first three grades and Miss Janet Homp taught grades four and five. Miss Schuette resigned in January, 1983 to become Mrs. David Hischke and Mrs. Susan Tews finished the year. Miss Homp became Mrs. Roger Moede and both Mrs. Hischke and Mrs. Moede are still members of St. John.

Mr. Schlicker received a call to Readlyn, Iowa, in 1981, and accepted. Mr. James Tews was called as St. John's School teacher and principal and accepted the call. He taught from 1981-1985 when he left for a position in Michigan. In 1983, Miss Mary Diercks became teacher of the intermediate grades and Miss Carol Spratz of the primary, including children of kindergarten age. In September, 1985, Mrs. Wanda Jahn agreed to teach grades six through eight and Mary Diercks, now Mary Heimerl, became principal.

A lovely painting of the church and large photographs of all of our former (and the present) pastors were placed in the entry of the church by Mrs. Adele Schuettpelz.

One of our younger members, Miss Beth Rakow, spent 6 weeks in Brazil last summer helping to build a chapel in a retreat center.

A small group of women serve as volunteer "saleswomen" in Bethesda Thrift Store in Green Bay and the Lutheran Children's Friend Society Thrift Store in Shawano one day every month.

The last few years have been devoid of any major problems or activities in our congregation. The enlargement of our financial scope has been from the $100.00 first pledged by our charter members to an annual budget of $117,000. $12,500 is remitted for extending God's kingdom and supporting colleges and seminaries to the North Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District and the Missouri Synod administration in St. Louis, Missouri.

Our congregation now numbers approximately 89 voting, 319 communicant and 414 baptized members.

St. John congregation produced five pastors: Frank Hischke, Arnold Rakow, president of the Lutheran Church in England, Waldemar Hischke in St. Louis, Missouri, Roland Hischke in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Roland Rakow in Colby, Wisconsin.

Ruby Rakow is the wife of a missionary and Bible translator in Africa. Christian Day School teachers originating from St. John are: Mrs. Elsie (Schuettpelz) Radl, Mrs. Ruth (Hischke) Taylor, Mrs. Ruby (Rakow) Bruns, Mrs. Irene (Rakow) Cudworth, Mrs. Jane (Marcheske) Hanson, Mrs. Alice (Rakow) Bahn, Mrs. Yvonne (Schuettpelz) Wilz, Mrs. Eunice (Tuschy) Loomans, Mrs. Donna (Manthei) Gerndt, and Miss Christine Gogolin.